As educators we will reference books, blogs, websites and learn from other facilitators. There will come a time you will start to experiment and try out the activities that you have learnt. I have done the same thing too in my practice as a facilitator and educator. As you start to experiment with different methodologies and approaches do get that valuable feedback you need.

Today being father’s day, I got feedback from my kids. My 7 year old sent me a gift wrapped present, wishing me happy father’s day as I worked on my computer today. Here’s the gift she made for me or rather, pen wrote on a file that she had;

My 11 year old son, was a little more innovative, he found an artwork that he completed and realised that could double as a gift and left it beside me when I had a nap yesterday. Here’s his artwork;

Feedback is the key that sounds out your interactions and impact, in this instance my relationship as a father to my children. However, in the realm of learning and facilitation getting genuine feedback from participants differentiates good facilitators from “Band aid trainers”. This is the term I have coined to describe half baked trainers who talk out loud, whilst pursuing certifications and short cut degrees.

As of April this year, I have started to take on lecturing work at the Institute of Adult Learning. Here, I lecture one of the toughest module, also know as Cu 3 a, that teaches participants to Design and Develop WSQ training programs. Lecturing twice a week, I also incorporated activities in my delivery of this module, as my learners grapple with Instructional design and learning theories. My learners too provided feedback and this was the card that was given to me, when I finished their 5 weeks training program.

More succinctly, my learners also provided feedback to the administrators, on my lecturing approach and competency as a facilitator. These were their thoughts;
Facilitator 1: Ebnu rating 1 – 5 max
Knowledgeable about the topic 4.9
Provided relevant examples 4.9
Used a range of activities 4.9
Engaged the learners 4.9
Professional   4.8

Here are their comments too:
– Good facilitator who puts in the effort to ensure that learners understand where he is coming from, using various farmative assessment methods. He helps keep us awake too!
– This module has a lot of theories that requires good understanding before it can be applied to the training material design. Mr Ebnu did well in making the learning very systematic and logical
– Ebnu is very knowledgeable and he shares a lot of his experience to enhance our understanding of this course in relation to actual curriculum developer.
– Mr Ebnu is approachable, knowledgeable, fun, energetic and very lively. He made us understood even better. Though I have attended other Cus but he is very well versed and always makes our lesson interesting. Keep it up Mr Ebnu and thanks.
-The facilitator was very approachable and friendly and he made clear all doubts on the assignment procedures. IAL, do maintain this standard
-The facilitator is a great motivator for this particularly tough CU. He provides guidance and has the patience and effort in attending to my queries. Mr Ebnu, keep up the great work.

This is the feedback I got from the evaluations. Does this happen by chance, not at all, it comes about because as a facilitator I have done my time, getting pass the stringent educational process that is institutional, without the trappings of finding a short cut. Its about cutting it deep, working as a practitioner, developing and delivering learning programs.

This is us, educators not your “Band aid trainers”.